Review: Lagunitas The Waldos 2019, Secret Agenda, and Dark Swan
Three new brews from Lagunitas, including what is Lagunitas’ arguably most talked-about beer ever, The Waldos’ Special Ale. All are available in standard, small format bottles.
Lagunitas The Waldos’ Special Ale 2019 – “The dankest and hoppiest beer ever brewed at Lagunitas,” this double IPA is inspired by “the history of 4/20,” though one should note it is not brewed with hemp or cannabis, just a ridiculous amount of hops. At 11.7%, it is more boozy than Pliny the Younger — by quite a bit — though much easier to buy. It’s also a gorgeous beer, a bit funky on the nose with notes of forest floor and oily resin, but there’s also ample, overripe fruit here, too. The palate is silky smooth in texture, which is what happens when you drink a beer that is nearly 1/8th made out of alcohol. It glides over the tongue and down the throat, taking its bright tropical fruit notes, peppery pine tree needles, and, yes, a little funky mushroom on the back end. It is an incredibly boozy experience, the finish showcasing sweet caramel sauce, butterscotch, and vanilla. There’s almost nothing I don’t like about this beer — except for the fact that I can really only drink one of them. 11.7% abv. A / $11 per six-pack
Lagunitas Secret Agenda – A pale bock collaborative between Lagunitas and Moonlight Brewing, designed for springtime. Boldly malty, and quite rich, coming off a bit like a Belgian style brew. Notes of brioche are countered by just tons of sweet malt, sometimes bordering on molasses on the unctuous, undulating finish. A surprising and unexpected beer that doesn’t really feel like a bock, but which will probably do the trick on pub night, by the fire. 7.1% abv. B+ / $11 per six-pack
Lagunitas Dark Swan Sour Ale – An experimental sour ale fermented with dark red wine grapes, which results in a dark purple brew. This tastes exactly what you think it will taste like: Aggressively sour, it is loaded with notes of fermenting blackcurrants, ultra-sour cherries, and raspberry wine — and an undercurrent of . Balsamic and blustery, it’s a punch to the palate that is engaging, even invigorating, but which is best experienced in small doses. Share a 12 oz bottle with a friend. Or two. 7.9% abv. B+ / $10 per six-pack
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